How Much Danger Do Ship Strikes Pose to Blue Whales?
A new study suggests that blue whale populations are not as vulnerable to ship strikes as previously thought, but experts say, 'not so fast.'
The eastern North Pacific blue whale population has rebounded since being hammered by commercial whaling, according to a new study. And ship strikes, long feared a major obstacle to the recovery in blue whale numbers, likely aren't major threats, the authors conclude.
These surprising findings, published Friday in the journal Marine Mammal Science, have gotten a lot of attention in news reports, but experts remain unconvinced.
The study authors used a computer model to estimate the size of the eastern north Pacific blue whale population before commercial whaling decimated their numbers—as well as current abundances and future population trends. They then examined whether the population was more affected by ship strikes or by the environment's ability to support